The Climate Culture and Art Symposium for youth will be held in Dhaka from March 15-17th, 2018. Hosted by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) based at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), the symposium will bring together youth across Bangladesh to learn about how climate change is affecting cultural traditions, and how young artists and storytellers can respond!
When we first came up with the idea for the Climate Culture Art Symposium for youth, people were confused. They asked what do the culture and arts have to do with climate change in Bangladesh? Our answer: everything.
Up until now, climate change in Bangladesh has mostly been addressed by the development industry. But climate change is not just a development issue, but a cultural + arts issue as well.
For a country like Bangladesh, adapting to climate change is not just a matter of building sea walls but culturally reckoning with what it means to live in a changed climate.
On one hand, climate change will likely disrupt traditional practices in the country. What will happen, for instance, to traditional the winter celebration festivals — Pousha Mela and Pousha Shonkranti — when the traditional six seasons of Bengal no longer exist? And how will Baul musicians spiritual beliefs and practices alter as the climate changes, particularly when so much of their inspiration arises from nature?
Yet on the other, let’s not forget artists and storytellers have the chance to respond! Art and storytelling not only have the power to spread awareness of climate change and inspire more ambitious action, but can also pose deeper societal questions about what we want our future under climate change to look like.
The symposium will bring youth across the country to engage critically and creatively in these questions! As the first gathering of its kind in Bangladesh, we are excited as you are to see what happens.
On the first day, a keynote will be presented on the overarching themes of the symposium. Additionally, participants will also get the chance to know each other through a series of getting-to-know-each-other games.
The second day will be dedicated to a series of parallel sessions. After a hopefully interactive session with guest speakers, a series of parallels will focus on
1.The impact of climate change on cultural traditions and understandings in Bangladesh;
2. How climate change and the related environment issues are understood in our culture; and
3. Different ways to communicate climate change to various audiences.
And the last day will be a “studio art” day where participants will choose an ‘art stream’ (whether painting, theater, electronic music, poetry, etc.) and spend the day in groups responding to a climate change prompt. Participants will then present their creative pieces at the end of the day.
We are hoping the symposium will be a fruitful and engaging experience for all!
The symposium will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. However, we are still finalizing the exact venue. We will update the website to let you know as soon as possible
As long as you are accepted to the symposium, the event is free. The only costs will be travel to/from the venue.
Unfortunately the structure of the event does not allow for paper submissions.
Potentially! We are hoping to create a gallery space in the symposium displaying artwork related to climate change in Bangladesh. However, we are still working on this and will let you know how to submit if possible